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Notice of PIER Security Research Program Meeting
Cyber Security and the Electric Transmission System:
Exploring Solutions for the 21st Century



The California Energy Commission staff will offer a two-day technical seminar on the cyber security of the electric system. Upon completion of the seminar, attendees will be eligible for 1.3 Continuing Education Units.

As the electric utilities have evolved to become more interconnected, more integrated, and increasingly connected to the Internet, their level of susceptibility to cyber attack, intentional or unintentional, by hackers, disgruntled employees, and professionals has increased dramatically. The seminar will be held:

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2008
8 a.m.
Office of the Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
First Floor, Auditorium
Sacramento, CA 95814
(Wheelchair Accessible)

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2008
8 a.m.
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet. For details, please go to:
www.energy.ca.gov/webcast

RSVP to David Chambers, dchamber@energy.state.ca.us or call (916) 653-7067. Please provide your name and contact information with the RSVP.


Purpose

The seminar will offer participants an understanding of the serious issues being faced by the electric utility industry, and provide knowledge on how to be compliant with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards. NERC plays a critical role in keeping the electric system safe. Through NERC, government and industry work together to protect the electricity infrastructure from physical and cyber attacks.

The workshop will focus on the cyber challenges, achievements, research and CIP compliance issues. Some topics to be discussed are: What series of practical steps is needed to pass the NERC compliance audit? More importantly, if you achieve NERC CIP compliance, will that make your systems secure? What are some state-of-the-art techniques to resist intrusion into critical cyber networks used to control the electric system? What are some of the new technologies currently being researched to provide solutions in the 21st century? This seminar is designed to answer these important questions, and to provide the participants with the opportunity to address some of the critical issues they are currently facing.


Background

As the electric utilities have evolved to become more interconnected, more integrated, and increasingly connected to the Internet, their level of susceptibility to cyber attack, intentional or unintentional, by hackers, disgruntled employees, and professionals has increased dramatically. The electric utility control center has gone from a trusted environment to one dedicated to self-protection and self-preservation, where strict adherence to business practices and cyber security rules must be enforced. The exposure of the nationŐs critical infrastructure systems to divisive activity has led many industries, including the electric industry, to employ strong safeguards from possible attack. This seminar explores the issues involved, the potential business impacts on the electricity industry infrastructure, and the research being done to further protect our critical control systems.


Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser's Office provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you want information on how to participate in this forum, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at [pao@energy.state.ca.us]. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

Please direct all news media inquiries to the Media Office, at (916) 654-4989, or by e-mail at [mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us].

For technical questions on the subject matter, please call David Chambers, Associate Electrical Engineer, (916) 653-7067.

Mail Lists: Research, Electricity Lists

Date Posted: May 16, 2008

Note: California Energy Commission's formal name is State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.

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